Direct Marketing

Scams RSS

Advance Fee Loans

  When you need money, a promise to give you a loan or help you get one (even if you have a bad credit record) may seem like the answer to your prayers. But beware–it could be a crook trying to steal your money, not lend you money. Don’t pay upfront ...

Bogus Credit Card Offers

  It's more convenient to use credit cards than cash or checks, especially for large purchases. But companies that offer to help you get a credit card may intend to steal your money instead. Don’t fall for promises that you’ll get a credit card even ...

Business Opportunities and Franchises

  The ad promises that you can be your own boss and make big profits. It sounds good, but crooks may be trying to steal money, not help you earn it. Don’t believe claims that you can make money with little or no effort. It takes hard work to run you ...

Charity Scams Popular

You want to help people in need, but you also want to be sure that your charitable donation isn't simply going into a crook's pocket. If you’re approached by an unfamiliar charity, check it out. Most states require charities to register with them and f ...

Computer Equipment and Software

You can find good deals on computer hardware and software on the Internet, but some offers may be too good to be true. Since these items are expensive, it pays to play it safe when you buy online. Know who you’re dealing with. If the seller is unfamili ...

Credit Repair

  Good credit is important–a bad credit history can prevent you from getting a loan, housing, or a job. Promises to "fix" your credit report may be tempting, but they're not true. No one can erase negative information if it’s accurate. Only incorrec ...

Fake Check Scams Popular

  Fake check scams are clever ploys designed to steal your money. You can avoid becoming a victim by recognizing how the scam works and understanding your responsibility for the checks that you deposit in your account. If someone you don’t know wants to ...

Government Grants Popular

Claims of "free government grants" from the US government asking for personal information such as your Social Security and bank account numbers or pay a "processing fee." But instead of giving you a grant, the plan is to steal your identity, your money, o ...

Internet Access Services

Many companies offer connections to the Internet, help creating a Web site, and other Internet services. Some of these services are specifically geared to businesses that want to offer their own products or services online. Unfortunately, some companies t ...

Investment Fraud

Whether you have a little money or a lot, you'd probably like to have more to "feather your nest." But your money could fly away if you get caught in an investment scam. Don’t believe claims that there is no risk. There is always risk in investments, a ...

Job Scams

  The ad promises to help you get a good-paying job, but how do you know it's not a con artist doing a job on you? Don’t pay a fee upfront. Most legitimate employment agencies don’t charge unless they actually succeed in getting you a job, and often ...

Lotteries and Lottery Clubs

Congratulations! You get a call or letter informing you that you can win millions in a foreign lottery. Is this your lucky day? Nope, it's a scam. Crooks take advantage of our natural desire to win. You see state lotteries and other contests advertised ...

Magazine Sales Scams

Someone offers you a great deal on new subscriptions or to renew your current ones. But it could be a con artist trying to trick you into spending more than you realize or paying for magazines that you'll never receive. Ask for written information befo ...

Nigerian Money Offers

Someone has contacted you from Nigeria or another African country and offers you millions of dollars. All you have to do is help transfer money, diamonds, or other riches to your bank account for safekeeping. It sounds like a dream come true, but it's rea ...

Prizes and Sweepstakes

  Congratulations! You've won a car, valuable jewelry, cash, or some other fabulous prize! Is this really your lucky day, or is your luck about to take a turn for the worse? Never pay to play. It’s illegal for a company to require you to buy somethi ...

Pyramids and Multilevel Marketing

The pitch is that you will make money by paying to participate in the program and recruiting others to join. But if it's really a pyramid, you and your friends will lose money, not make it. Plans that promise profits mainly for recruiting new members a ...

Scholarship Scams

Need a scholarship for college? The advertisement promises help, but you may learn the hard way that promises to get your a scholarship are false. Know who you’re dealing with. It may be a search company that is offering to help locate scholarships for ...

Telephone Cramming

  In addition to "plain old telephone service," you can buy extra services such as voice mail, paging, and Internet access from many different companies. But when charges show up on your phone bill for services you never agree to buy, you've been "cramme ...

Telephone Slamming

  Now that there are many competing companies that offer telephone service, your choices have increased dramatically. Unfortunately, so have the chances of being "slammed." Know what slamming is. Slamming occurs when your telephone service is switch ...

Travel Fraud

  The thought of going to a warm vacation spot in the winter or visiting a foreign country is exciting. But what seems like a great deal may turn out to be a bad trip. Be skeptical of offers for “free” trips. Airlines and other well-known companies ...